What happens when you use resin and nail polish together?
Confession time. I have this weird quirk about needing to buy stuff from the bargain bin of stores and try to use them in resin. It’s like I’m imagining myself on one of those cooking shows and have to use a specific ingredient in a dish. I have taken that to the resin studio and try to challenge myself every chance I get.
In a recent dollar store trip, I found some nail polishes in the bargain bin and decided now was the time to try them in resin. The basics of the two-part experiment went like this:
I mixed 1 ounce total of Resin Obsession super clear resin.
For Part A, I put approximately 5 ml of mixed resin into 4 different one-ounce plastic mixing cups. I added opaque polish colors to two of the cups, whereas I added clear polish with glitter to the other two cups.
For Part B, I poured the rest of the mixed clear resin into our domino size silicone mold. I poured drops of 4 opaque colors onto each cavity of wet resin. Unfortunately, the clear polish with glitter was too thick to pour.
The final demolded charms are shown with their corresponding polishes.
The nail polish did not want to mix with the resin. It immediately started to clump and these clumps did not dissolve.
Note: Since I’ve published this article, a few readers suggested to mix acetone with nail polish to thin it out before including it in resin. While I haven’t tried it, if you do this, please know it may affect the curing and is flammable. Use caution if you are using a torch to pop bubbles in the resin.
You can see better when the charms are held up to the light that there are flakes in them, especially in the one on the left.
The results of using clear nail polish and resin were awful. It turned the resin yellow! I know lacquer will turn resin yellow, so in this case, clear nail polish likely has the same ingredients and properties. Definite fail!
Dripping nail polish on resin got me somewhat better results.
The pink and red colors left pretty dots on the resin surface that matched their original colors.
The blue and teal nail polishes left some weird feathering. I would have liked these better if the color had been consistent like the pink and purples above.
So here is what I learned about using resin and nail polish
- 1. Mixing nail polish with resin is not an effective way to color resin.
- 2. Dripping it on wet resin can add color and interesting effects. Quite frankly though, I liked the results from using alcohol-based ink colors better. (See my ink drop pendant tutorial.)
- 3. Painting colored nail polish on cured resin looks like it would be a good option for coloring resin charms.
- 4. Clear polish should definitely not be used to color resin. After seeing it turn yellow quickly, I’m not sure I would use it to paint resin charms either.
Overall, colors designed for resin give the best and most consistent results.
What have you learned using resin and nail polish?
Confused about where to get started with resin? Crafted something with resin only to find something sticky and filled with bubbles the next day? I get it. I felt those same frustrations when I began creating with resin. It’s why I wrote the book, Resin Fundamentals. Instead of searching through hours of information, buy the book and start learning the essential details you need to know to make something amazing with resin.
If you want to see more of how I did this experiment, you can watch the video:
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